letters from dickinson to austin dickinson

6 July 1851

I have just come in from Church very hot, and faded, having witnessed a couple of Baptisms, three admissions to the church, a Supper of the Lord, and some other minor transactions time fails me to record. Knowing Rev A.M. Colton so thoroughly as you do, having received much benefit from his past ministrations, and bearing the relation ot "Lamb" unto his fold, you will delight to know that he is well, and preaching, that he has preached today strange as it may - must seem, that just from his benediction I hurry away to you. No doubt you can call to mind his eloquent addresses, his earnest look and gesture, his calls of now today - no doubt you can call to mind the impetus of spirit received from the same gentleman and his enlivening preaching - therefore if you should fancy I'd looked upon the wine from walk or conversation a little fierce or fiery, bear all these things in mind!

Our church grows interesting, Zion lifts her head - I overhear remarks signifying Jerusalem, I do not feel at liberty to say any more today! I wanted to write you Friday, the night of Jennie Lind, but reaching home past midnight, and my room sometime after, encountering several perils starting, and on the way, among which a kicking horse, an inexperienced driver, a number of Jove's thunderbolts, and a very terrible rain, are worthy to have record. All of us went - just four - add an absent individual and that will make full five - the concert commenced at eight, but knowing the world was hollow we though we'd start at six, and come up with everybody that meant to come up with us - we had proceeded some steps when one of the beasts showed symptoms, and just by the blacksmith's shop exercises commenced, consistsing of kicking and plunging on the part of the horse, and whips and moral suasion from the gentleman who drove - the horse refused to proceed, and your respected family with much chagrin dismounted, advanced to the hotel, and for a season halted - another horse procured, we were politely invited to take our seats, and proceed, which we refused to do till the animal was warranted - about half thro' our journey thunder was said to be heard, and a suspicious cloud came travelling up the sky - what words express our horror when rain began to fall - in drops - sheets - cataracts - what fancy conceive of drippings and of drenchings which we met on the way - how the stage and its mourning capitves drew up at Warner's hotel - how all of us alighted, and were conducted in, how the rain did not abate, how we walked in silence to the old Edwards Church and took our seats in the same, how Jennie came out like a child and sang and sang again, how boquets fell in showers, and the roof was rent with applause - how it thundered outside, and inside with the thunder of God and of men - judge ye which was the loudest - how we all loved Jennie Lind, but not accustomed oft to her manner of singing did'nt fancy that so well as we did her - no doubt it was very fine - but take some notes from her "Echo" - the Bird sounds from the "Bird Song" and some of her curious trills, and I'd rather have a Yankee.

Herself, and no her music, was what we seemed to love - she has an air of exile in her mild blue eyes, and a something sweet and touching in her native accent which charms her many friends - "Give me my thatched cottage" as she sang grew so earnest she seemed half lost in song and for a transient time I fancied she had found it and would be seen "na mair," and then her foreign accent made her again a wanderer - we will talk about her sometime when you come - Father say all the evening looking mad, and silly, and yet so much amused you would have died a laughing - when the performers bowed, he said "Good evening Sir" - and when they retired, "very well - that will do," it was'nt sarcasm exactly, nor it was'nt disdain, it was infinitely funnier than either of those virtues, as if old Abraham had come to see the show, and thought it was all very well, but a little excess of Monkey! She took 4000 $ / mistake arithmetical/ for tickets at Northampton aside from all expenses. I'm glad you took a seat opposite Lord Mayor - if he had say in your lap it had pleased me even better - it must seem pretty grand to be a city officer and pat the Sheriff's back, and wink to the Policemen! I'm sorry you got so tired, and would suggest respectfully a Rose in every thorn!

We are all pretty comfortable, and things get along well - Bowdoin has gone home haying - the Tutors are hanging on - Francis March is here, had not been seen at the latest - the Exhibition came, and went for all that I know - choosing not to "tend." Sanford - Valedictorian - Stebbins - Salutatorian - Carr [Karr] - Oratio Philosophico - I do not know the rest, except that Wm Washburn has a Dissertation from the delivery which he is "respectfully excused."

About our coming to Boston - we think we shall probably come - we want to see our friends - yourself and Aunt L's family - we dont care a fig for the museum, the stillness, or Jennie Lind. We are not going to stay long - not more than a week - are sorry Emily is gone, but she shall come to see us - how long will Joel be gone - we have talked of Thursday or Friday as the earliest that we should come - perhaps not until Monday - can you write a line and send to us tomorrow, how long Joe will be gone? Give our love to our friends, and tell them we will write them and let them know our plans as soon as we hear from you - Thank them if you please for their kind invitation, and tell them we are coming not to see sights but them, and therefore the stillness will not incommode us. I saw Martha Friday - she inquired all about you, and said she was going to write, and Susie too that I could send next time - it has rained ever since then and it is raining now, now so I disappoint you - have patience Austin, and they shall come next time. Father says your letters are altogether before Shakespeare, and he will have them published to put in our library. Emily Fowler's regards - Love from us all - dont know what I say I write in such a hurry.

Your aff Sister


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